|By reporter: William Wang|
As the national holiday of Golden Week races towards us, Beijingers brace themselves for the hordes of visitors who always accompany it. Chinese from the vast breadth of the country seize the one week holiday to visit the capital, adding a particular crush to local life. Beijingers also seize this time to escape from the grey confines of downtown and, you know, get reacquainted with Mother Nature.
CRI presents you with a handful of destinations where you can avoid most of the crowds, deeply inhale the fresh air, and slow down enough to fully appreciate autumn's onset.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways VII|
@ Health Bridge Wetland: Not Just for the Birds
The feeling of openness in the park is as refreshing as the breeze is fresh. Huge swathes of the property are covered by lake and marsh. Grasses have height, but they don't dream to cut into the sky's territory.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways VI|
@ Beigong Forest Park: Easy Escape
Beigong may be known by many Chinese folk, but it definitely offers a quieter, less populous experience than the Fragrant Hills. It reportedly does attract a number of tourists, though (at this point in time) virtually none from foreign lands.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways V|
@ Jingdong Grand Canyon: Grand in Its Own Way
Jingdong Grand Canyon is definitely "on the radar" when it comes to Beijingers looking for a tourist destination within their reach. Its translated name alludes to America's Grand Canyon, which is admittedly a bit ridiculous.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways IV|
@ The Schoolhouse: Balancing Tradition and Luxury
The Schoolhouse is a multi-faceted project lying just a scant five kilometers south of the Great Wall's Mutianyu gate that offers some of the most delightful rooms for rent in Beijing, exquisite western cuisine, an art gallery, yoga classes and even glass-blowing workshops and demonstrations.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways III|
@ Lingshui: A Charming Study of History
Beijing's Mentougou District, is full of sites to visit, but Lingshui is definitely the historic highlight of the bunch. This small town is about a thousand years old, and the heady scent of history permeates its plastered rock walls, generations-old homes, and massive ancient trees.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways II|
@ Lingshan Mountain: The Highest of Beijing's Heights
Living in pancake flat Beijing, it' easy to get the itch to stretch your legs. For those who are looking for something more, Lingshan Mountain is should definitely be in the running. It's Beijing's highest peak, and it doesn't fail to provide the stunning vistas worthy of that title.
| Near and Away From Beijing: Golden Week Getaways I|
@ Shuiyu: Definitely Out of the City
Shuiyu is one of those towns that is wonderful to visit precisely because it's not much of a tourist destination. Not only will Starbucks be 110 percent absent, but you'll be hard-pressed to find lodging or even a restaurant.